Kat doodles about life and speaks about languages:
Morning guys! I know, it’s been long. As always with me. I pick up things and then I drop them like they never meant anything. Not quite the truth. I do come back. My life has just been so manic for the last two months. Why? Well, have a read and I am sure you understand.
As you may know in early April I went to Paris to visit friends and have a bit of a break. And as typically with me I do talk to strangers on regular basis, let’s call it ‘soaking up the culture’. Well I did talk to one very intensely on a night out that we ended up in a relationship two weeks later. Just to remind you at this point I do not speak French and he does not speak English, so our whole entire conversation via Whatsapp, Skype and Facebook happens thanks to Google Translate. We both spend anything between two to five hours a day talking to each other and suddenly it starts to work. Phrase by phrase, day after day we learn how to communicate without computers. French a bit of English is finally happening.
As we have never had a first date, he of course comes and pays a visit in Bristol and I make it true British experience. Things are going great, so we are now facing the question how to make this long distance relationship work and be together rather hunting the internet connection with adequate amount of bars.
I spent nearly entire whole September in suburbs of Paris, where he lives. Not only we went sightseeing, but also reorganized his flat. Parisians somehow don’t really do the ‘house sharing’ like British do, so imagine bachelor pad. It is genuinely tidy, but woman’s touch is well needed. Especially if he wants me to live here right?! Although my friends know I do tiny bit more than feminine touch and are glad to hear he still keeps standing.
Here I was back in Bristol and with firm? decision made I was about to face this thing I have never thought of doing for real. Leaving UK after ten years. Moving to France. Well I did think about it of course over the years. I have always wanted to live in France, however as you get older, comfortable with your life, place, language, jobs. Unless there is something what pushes you, you won’t really find the motivation to do it just like that. I did feel the need to change something for some time, but you know life gets in the way…
I was suddenly facing the questions like: How I am going to move my belongings to France? What do I need to get rid off? What work can I do without speaking French? What if it doesn’t work out between us? When do I finish my driving licence? What sort of paperwork I need to sort out? With all this anti immigration stuff we hear on TV, can I go back few years later? How can I fit within this Parisian society and his friends and family? When do I say goodbye to all my jobs and friends? How much is it going to cost? Questions after questions in my head.
BUT it all got sorted. I have been in Paris, well in suburbs of Paris, which you call Ile de France, for about four weeks now. So far it’s been worth it and although I had two moments, when i felt a bit overwhelmed, we are both doing our best to live in one big room and accommodating me to local habits and the language, which is so far has been the most frustrating thing for me as you all know I love to talk.
These are some of the interesting point I have noted so far. Weather, not bad, mostly grey, with few gorgeous sunny and cold days. It is certainly not raining like in the UK. Hoping for some snow, Christmas round the corner.
I can now finally start to understand Asterix and Obelix just in French and make simple conversation with other people to tell them a story. Of course they do find it cute, when I speak French with English accent. My face muscles around the mouth are no longer hurting as much as they did, but I am constantly tired and I do sleep little bit longer in the mornings than I wish to. And of course I am also using Czech lot more now, so my brain has to be constantly switched on.
Although suffering with IBS, I do eat baguettes, their bread and cakes. They are heaven and nearly every corner has a bakery (fr.boulangerie). My boyfriend keeps reminding me I have Genius bread in the cupboard, but the cheese (fr. fromage) doesn’t taste as good.
Everyone we visit, whether friends or family, they are always constantly eating and offering cheese, their cured hams, pates and other traditional French delicatessen including of course the wine. I have explained many times I do not eat pate to my boyfriend, but he seems to follows the rule- “Well you haven’t tried this one?!”
Talking about food- of course I started to pile on pounds since I got here, due to having no longer my bicycle, driving everywhere we go and not having much outside activity. Of course I ask how do French women stay thin? My boyfriend says: “They just don’t eat, smoke cigarettes and drink coffee.” Of course, how very French. I am sure there is another rather healthy solution to this. More search on this topic then.
Job- so far everyone I spoke to in English has a very strong French accent, so everyone is making most of the chance to practice their language skills with me. I haven’t really dived into the job hunt yet, but I got a job after an interview for an agency, which offers temporary jobs in babysitting and teaching. I was very happy I got a job, but as I Iive more in suburbs, for this sort of job, you spend most of the time getting yourself to places in Paris just for two to three hours with not much pay. And they don’t pay travel time either. So I think I will focus on searching teaching jobs in my local area.
Most of the time in the past four weeks I have spend organizing the flat, we redecorated the main room, which is lounge, bedroom and my future office to be all in one. With Christmas round the corner of course there is present shopping, tree decorating, obligatory social nights out and organizing myself here officially. Last week all my 37 boxes arrived from UK, so I could finally settle in properly and once I figure out situation with European and UK plugs and how to plug my office in, I should be more online telling you about this new exciting culture I am entering.
With love from Paris Kat xx